Look for Hidden Details in Older Homes

stone surrounding natural fireplace and sunroom off of living space

What immediately comes to mind when I say “older home”?  Probably a home that needs some sweat equity, right?  That may possibly be the case with older homes that have not been updated recently but if you are a buyer who has seen some older homes either online or on a tour, did you notice anything special about the older home?  Did you look beyond what is obvious to the naked eye?  Did you open the doors that are a darker finish than you’d prefer and notice the inlaid detail behind the door?  Did you see the fireplace and not think twice about the stone surrounding it?  The seller custom-built the home and chose all of the stone materials themselves.  Buyers in general are looking for granite kitchens, updated cabinetry, open concept, master suites with en suite bath and large walk-in closet, nice sized yard, etc.  If most buyers are looking for the same details, then sellers update their homes to have all of those same details.  Eventually all of the homes look the same on the inside.  Older homes offer the opportunity to own a home that is unique not just on the outside but inside as well.  That is exactly what the home at 8860 N Seneca Rd in Bayside offers.  It has the updated kitchen that buyers want, hardwood floors, open concept layout, large master suite with a 4-piece en suite bath and large walk-in closet, yard plus a large sunroom that doubles as another living room.  If you visit the home, don’t forget to open the closet doors because you do not want to miss the inlaid detail.  The stone surrounding the fireplace was hand-picked by the seller when they bought the land and built the home.    The home has detail and history that you will not find anywhere else!  In a country full of cookie-cutter homes, why not invest in a home with the one thing that most buyers say they want but can’t get with a newer home – character.  As always, please feel free to contact me at 414-350-6358.

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Six Months on the Market and Still for Sale.

Sound familiar?  You are not alone.  Days on the market have increased due to fewer buyers in the market place and more inventory to choose from.  A nasty combination, I know!  Couple this with foreclosures and short sales and the lower prices that occur as a result, and selling has become a real nightmare.

You like your agent, but they’ve had the house listed for six months without many showings and certainly no offers except the one that was $75,000 under asking!!  Do you stick with that agent, or try someone new?  That is a very good question!

Your agent has spent considerable time and energy, not to mention money, marketing your property.  An agent’s cash outlay is considerable when beginning the marketing process.  If your agent has been marketing your home and working to expose it to the brokerage community as well as to buyers, then they probably deserve to continue marketing your property.

Does your agent keep in touch with you?  Are you discussing market conditions a couple of times a month?  You should be.  As the market fluctuates, sellers need to know their competition.  Insist that your agent set you up on an MLS search.  This is easy to do and a great way to keep abreast of what is going on in your community.   Know the homes that are new to the market and know the ones that have offers on them.  Is your home priced accordingly? Many sellers don’t want to hear it, but, it is ALL about price.

Selling a home in a good market is challenging.  Selling a home in our current market is unbelievably stressful!  First of all, prices are considerably lower than they were 5 years ago.  Be realistic when pricing your home.  Don’t forget, Buyers buy by comparing properties.  Check out your competition!

If your agent has exposed your home all over the web, helped staged your home, returned your calls and emails promptly, provided showing follow-up, had broker’s opens, held open houses, sent out post cards to the neighborhood, taken great photos of your home, kept in contact with you, in other words, has done the job you have hired them to do, stick with them!   There haven’t been a ton of buyers out there for the past couple of years.  It is time to reevaluate.  There is a reason your home hasn’t sold.  Take a good long look at the competition, the answer is there.

Your agent has been working for you!  Agents can’t make a buyer appear out of thin air.  They can, however, help you by doing all in their power to get you the exposure you need in order to be the next home that sells in your price range.  It’s a team effort.  You and your agent must work together to achieve this goal.  Best of luck!  Our Spring market is here!!

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Do open houses REALLY not work?

So, you’ve listed your home and your agent says, “I don’t do open houses”.  Hmmmmmmm.  What is that all about?  Isn’t that part of selling houses?  Yes!  Absolutely!!

Open houses are always a great source of business for me.  Not only do I pick up potential buyers and sellers at open houses, the home that is being held open gets amazing exposure.  How is that possible if only 2 or 3 groups of people walk through the house?   That is simple.  By, “word of mouth advertising”.  Let’s say 4 groups of people walk through the open house.  Those casual lookers mention the property to 3 of their friends.  Now 12 people know about the property.  Those people may casually mention your property to someone else.  Do you see where I am going with this?   Without that open house, no one had any firsthand knowledge about the property.

Many times the buyers walking through your open house will already be working with another agent.  That is great!!  We know these people are serious buyers.  Most likely their home is already on the market with their agent.  Finding the home of their dreams may just encourage those buyer/sellers to lower their asking price so they can purchase your property.  I routinely contact the agent that that particular buyer is working with.  That agent needs to know that their client showed interest in my listing.

Pictures on the internet are great.  But, if you ask me, we have to go back to the old-fashioned way of selling houses.   Putting a buyer in a house is the very best way to get a home sold.  There is a certain feeling that a person experiences when they walk into a house that could potentially be “their home”.  It is impossible to expect photographs to convey that “certain something”.

People love to talk about houses!  They love to look at houses.   Let free “word of mouth advertising” work for you.  Insist that your agent hold your property open at least once every 6 weeks.  I do opens more frequently than that.  There are always new buyers coming in to the market.  Those buyers need to be able to physically walk through your home in order to get a good sense of the house.  Holding open houses is a great way to get additional exposure for your house.

As always, feel free to contact me at fwallace@firstweber.com with any real estate questions.

~Fran

Tips on how to find the best listing agent to help you sell your home.

So, you’ve decided you’ve outgrown your home.  The family is growing and what once was the perfect size doesn’t fit any longer.  Where do you go from here?   What’s the next step?

First things first!  Interview no less than 3 agents that specialize in your market area.  They are the experts and are an invaluable resource that comes without a charge.  Each agent should provide a market analysis.  After all is said and done, the prices they come up with should be all in the same ballpark.  BEWARE of pricing that is way out of line.  A higher asking price is NOT a reason to choose one agent over another.

A great agent has recommendations from a number of different people who have already bought and sold in your market area.  Ask to see a copy of those recommendations, or go on the agent’s web site to read their testimonials.  See what other buyers and sellers are saying about the agents that you are interviewing.

The agents should also bring their marketing plans to the table.  This is something you shouldn’t have to ask for.  A marketing plan is something that each agent should present to you in writing.   Review each of those plans and don’t be afraid to offer suggestions to your agent.  You are, together with the agent, working as a team to get your home sold.  The agents should explain to you why their company stands out from all the rest.  Finally, there is that “X” factor…………..personality.  Personality plays a huge role in the success of any agent.  Look for someone who is upbeat, friendly and has a positive attitude.  In this business, attitude is everything.  The agent that you choose should be able to make friends easily, and able to put even the most skeptical person at ease.

Buying a new home can be fun, or it can be torture.  The choice is pretty much up to you.  If you approach the process with a bit of knowledge of what may occur along the way, it will be easier on you and your family.

Fran Maglio Wallace

414-380-9429

fwallace@firstweber.com

Like my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/phonefranfirst

First Blog Post!

Welcome to my blog!  My name is Fran Maglio Wallace, I am a real estate professional with the First Weber Group.  I live and work on the North Shore and have been selling real estate for the past 28 years.   During those years I have sold millions of dollars of real estate and have accumulated a great deal of experience and many stories to tell.  My goal is to provide you with insight into the real estate market that we are currently experiencing.  I am happy to answer any questions you may have.  Please feel free to email me at fwallace@firstweber.com with any questions.

This is my more than “full time” job.  In order to be successful, especially in a down market, I have had to work increasingly long days spending many more hours to get my listings sold.  I have seen all kinds of markets come and go during my career, however, none has been more challenging than the market we have been experiencing for the past 3 years!  Please check back to my blog I am giving away free tidbits of information that will be useful!

If You’re Selling Your Home, Get Ready for a Beauty Contest

Beauty Contest Winner - Small Kitchen

For better or for worse, like it or not, today’s home sellers are participating in a “Beauty Contest”.  There is a ton of inventory available and a very small pool of buyers.   Your merchandise must stand out from the rest.

For the most part, buyers want to walk in to a home and fall in love with it.   They want updated kitchens and bathrooms, the current color palette on the walls, and mechanicals in acceptable condition.  New windows and roof??  That is definitely a plus!

If you are considering updating your home, do it!  It will help you when it is time for you to sell.  Today’s Buyers want to close on their new home, place their furniture in the house and go out to dinner that evening.  The more “move in” ready you can make your home, the more likely you will be to win the “Beauty Contest”!   Don’t forget, there are many homes from which to choose, and only a handful of buyers out there that are ready, willing and able to buy.
Don’t be left out in the cold!  Make the improvements that will get your home in the running to be a finalist.  Tip the scales in your favor.  Do everything in your power to make your property stand out from the rest.  Your real estate professional should guide you.  Take that advice and run with it.